Hello and welcome to today’s wedding DJ interview with Jerry Beck of Becks Entertainment and DJ Services based in San Diego, CA! Enjoy:
Tell us about yourself and how you started.
It all started for me as the 12 year old kid who used to have all the latest songs and would go to my school early with my boombox and play music for all of my friends before school began.
Read the full interview after the cut!
What do you love about being a DJ?
I love being able to create any type of ambiance with the music that I play.
What makes you different from other DJs?
The way that I play music is called Neuro-Associative DJ’ing. I utilize psychological elements when I play music to create the vibe that I want. A lot of the time I can get people to physically do something. That is Neuro-Associative DJ’ing!
What’s the most unique wedding you’ve ever DJ’d for?
First, every wedding is unique in it’s own way. I think the question should be which of the unique weddings stood out. The answer to that question would be the time when electricity went out during the ceremony and was out the rest of the evening. Here is the story: Saturday morning started like any other busy wedding day would start. I had multiple systems and teams going out so I had to make sure that every detail was addressed. My day started at 6:00am with the loading of all of the equipment in the specific company vehicles. Myself and an assistant were going to do the first wedding which started at 11am and ended at 5p. The second team was to start the second wedding and cocktail hour and I was to join them later to provide entertainment for the dancing portion of the reception. I wanted to get to the first wedding early because they had intricate lighting that I was providing and wanted to be sure that placement was perfect.
The first wedding went off without a hitch. Everything happened the way that it was supposed to as I was also the keeper of the time line. At roughly 4p my team 1 assistant (whom was with me) gets a call saying that the second team had no power at the facility! At 5p when my event was over I called team 2 to find out what was going on as I was going to be there in 10 minutes. They informed me that all of the power in the entire area was out. That particular venue is a popular wedding spot and there had to have been at least 3 to 5 weddings going on.
The ceremony package that our evening client opted for was a PA system with music only. The microphones were to be provided by the facility in their package. Our ceremony systems are all compact and battery powered so the power outage didn’t affect our ability to provide pre-ceremonial and ceremony music however the facility could not provide microphones because they required power to run. My assistant, thinking quickly on her feet had the facility plug their wired microphone in to our battery powered system and the ceremony went on as scheduled. All this time we are hoping for the power to come back on. 5:30p rolls around and still no electricity!
When I arrive to the facility not knowing what to expect except silence I hear music in the dining room that my reception was in! On the way to my room I walk past a room that had a wedding where everyone was standing around. Band was just sitting wondering what to do. When I entered into my room the first thing I noticed is that my full system is set up on one side of the room but not on. My assistant had my battery power ceremony system playing cocktail music on the other side of the room.
My ceremony system is very limited on music being that it is only used for ceremonies and occasionally a cocktail hour. My assistant informed me that she had instructed everybody to give her their I-Pods and that was how she was playing music! She went on to instruct me on what to do and what to play for the first dance and father/daughter dance. Somehow she found all the songs on other peoples I-Pods! As I took over, not really prepared to play music with pockets full of I-Pods, started just doing it!!
I took a glance at the time line to make sure that we were still on schedule then started looking through peoples I-Pods and started picking appropriate songs for the different times. I truly had no idea how things would work out but I was going to give it my best shot. I periodically would subtly check on the B&G to make sure that they were ok and if they needed anything like… reassuring. By 7:00p it was dark and I no longer could see my clipboard nor the time line so I started going by memory. Since the facility was saying that they couldn’t serve dinner I didn’t know if they would shut it down or not. I was really playing music by the moment.
The facility got a grill all fired up and started cooking. Dinner was late… but they still had it! After dinner I had the father/daughter dance and asked everyone to open their cell phones so the backlight could illuminate the dance floor. It was awesome! Everyone participated! My assistant ran out to purchase glow necklaces and glow sticks as well as flashlights while the formalities where going on. The flashlights were used to guide guests down the stairwell as our reception was on the second floor and the elevators were not working. The glow sticks entertained the kids at the event… and yes the adults too!
I was the only DJ Company in the entire facility where Ceremony, Cocktail hour and Reception music happened! All of the formalities and announcements/toasts happened. What makes this story incredible is that I was able to get people dancing right away in the face of adversity with no electricity and under the dim, flickering glow of candle light and cell phone backlights! With everything around us being so dark and quiet our party of 120 sounded like 500 people laughing and dancing! It was incredible! I was scheduled to go till 10p however everyone danced so much till the B&G decided to extend well beyond my scheduled ending time!
Upon closing I’d like to add that there were many factors that contributed to the success of that event. First and foremost, my assistant who kept the bride from having a full out melt down by keeping the ceremony on track even with no electricity! Her quick thinking proved to eliminate potential panic. The facility that worked with us to make sure that we did the majority of the formalities before it got too dark. And the guests….the guests that had I-Pods.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Making sure that there is the perfect balance of music selections. Making sure that everyone is touched by the music.
What’s your favorite song? Your least favorite song?
My favorite songs come and go quickly. I generally like newer songs until they grow old on me then I move on to the next favorite. As for my least favorite, I don’t have a song or genre or artist that I can say is my least favorite. Music changes all the time and so I appreciate all music.
Do you have any advice for wedding DJs just starting out?
My advice would be to learn the nuances of weddings so you can be better equipped to play music. Stay up on trends. Stay up on your music. Try to stay away from playing the same 4 or 5 songs in a row at every wedding.
What are some things couples should look for when looking for a DJ?
Can the DJ relate to the music that I like and want played at my wedding?
Thanks Jerry! For more information about Becks Entertainment and DJ Services, please visit his WeddingLovely Vendor Guide Profile or head straight to his website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Jerry? Add them to the comments below!